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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sorry this is so long. I'm rather long-winded. It's a weakness of mine and I try not to post too often because of it. Here goes:

Bella started off real sweet and easy to handle but about 6 days after bringing her home she jumped right into quilling and became quite cranky (as I expected and understand). But now the quilling seems to have come to an end because I have only found 3 or 4 quills in her cage over the past several days. She is now a biter. I know, sometimes it happens. And I have read through most of the "my hedgehog hates me" posts on the old board. But I wanna ask everyone's opinion because this seems a bit more than biting because I was stupid enough to put my finger in front of her mouth.

While she was going through quilling there were several times where she would lunge at me and snap her mouth in an attempt to bite me if I reached in her cage to fill her water bowl or clean her poop or whatever. Even if I didn't get my hand in her area she would approach me and lunge to bite. I've only had her since the first week of August, so I am obviously still working on socializing. Even though she lunged at me a few times I was still taking her out and leaving her on my lap in a hedgie bag. One night I made the mistake of trying to fold the hedgie bag down a bit so I could look at her while she was inside. I guess I got my finger too close and she bit me so hard that when I jerked my hand back with surprise - she was still attached and came with my hand. As she came all the way out of the bag she turned loose and buried herself back at the bottom.

Since then I have figured out that you cant approach her with your hands from the front. No big deal. I just make sure when I am picking her up that I totally avoid the head area. Once I pick her up I've had no issues with her biting my hands as they're underneath her and she turns and runs through my fingers and along my arms. However, last week I had her on my lap inside a towel and while shifting my position I just happened to put my bare arm down on my leg and it was against the edge of the towel. In a matter of seconds I felt her moving and she nuzzled my arm and bit the crap out of me and broke the skin. I do not put her back in her cage when she bites, I kept her on my lap for another 20 minutes or so. Now over the past several days she has started biting at my shirt when she peeks out of her hedgie bag and she bites the hedgie bag on the inside. She still lunges at me if she's in her cage and awake when I reach my hand in for any reason.

Yes she huffs and pops and doesn't like me yet. I know all that stuff is normal and that our socializing process will take a long time. But the biting becoming more often and more aggressive makes me wonder if there's another issue. She is now biting at my hands when I am holding her and it's getting to the point that I am becoming a bit nervous about holding her at all. She's in a hedgie bag on my lap right now and she is digging and biting at the bottom of the hedgie bag. Any idea what could be causing this or what I am supposed to do about it? Maybe I'm holding her too much, I don't know. My hands do not smell like food because I use Purell before I pick her up every time. I don't use any type of yummy smelling lotion or anything. I sleep with all her hedgie bags after they are washed so she should be used to my smell. And she has an old t-shirt of mine in her cage.
 

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Remember a hedgehog can smell a grub buried in twelve inches of soil. Scent is EVERYTHING to our little quilled ones. They can smell things we can't even imagine. It could be laundry soap or softener. you will just have to try and isolate what it is. If she had only bitten your hand I might think of it as an aggressive move; But since she has bitten your bare arm I would tend to think she smells something she believes would taste good. I may be wrong on this but that was my impression. Hopefully others will chip in with their ideas.
 

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i have a rat that when i first got her all she did was bite and run, then she got better but would still bite but keep biteing, and i also used purell, and sure enough once i stop useing purell and switched to non sented hand soap she stoped biteing,
i hope that helps, maybe bella will be like my rat hazel and just dosint like purell :D
 

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My goodness! What a chomper!

When I first brought my hedgie home, she was a bit of a chomper... particularly on hedgiedaddy. I used to joke that he must secretly be working at a meat-packing plant and smell particularly delicious to Satin.

We resolved the situation by always using the same soap (Softsoap Aloe & E) before picking her up. Now hedgiedaddy and I don't need to use the soap all the time - she's come to recognize our own scents. But we have other people use it when they come over or are hedgiesitting so she doesn't chomp on them. And we use it (washing up to our elbows) if we've been somewhere that people have been smoking or if we've been swimming. She seems to react to those scents quite strongly.

I think if you choose a soap that's not strong smelling and wash with it every single time before you pick her up, it'll help a lot. She'll learn to associate the scent with "this is my human friend" and "not a threat" and "not a food item."
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Now this type of feedback is exactly why these boards are so useful. I can easily stop using Purell and try to find a mild soap for the bathroom sink that I can use faithfully. Also, I smoke about 4 cigarettes a week and I bet if I could rewind time I would see that most of the bites are on the days that I have lit one up. Another recent change is I bought generic fabric softener because paying for all of Bella's supplies has got me watching my budget. My new fabric softener is some sort of mandarin orange scent instead of the regular. So with all that stuff going on I bet at least one of them is the trigger.

So I can get rid of the purell. I can be more careful about smoking and handling her. And I guess I'm going to be throwing away a bottle of mandarin orange fabric softener because her biting my tshirt and digging and biting inside her hedgie bags is probably directly related to that. :p
 

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mandarin orange fabric softener prolly smells pretty good, ahahha :lol: ever sence i got daisy i started use non sented laundry soaps. for her anyways.. i will use some sented stuff for myself once in awile but shes gotten pretty used to it,, she has been here for over 2 years after all. :lol: let us know how things work out after switching stuff! hope things get better :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
No Purell tonight and I picked her up and put her on my lap in the tshirt she has had in her cage for about 4 nights now. So as usual she fidgeted for quite some time and stayed burrowed inside the tshirt. Then she started settling down some and kinda poked her head outand laid there quietly for about 5 minutes. Then I cleared my throat and shifted a bit to get more comfortable which apparently signaled Bella that it was time to bite my arm and throw a hissy fit. So, she promptly did so. And in between the natural instinct to jerk my freshly bitten arm and her strong desire to "bite and burrow" she tumbled head over heels all that way down my lap while still wrapped up in her tshirt (now successfully covered in urine and poop). She did not hit anything hard and didn't drop to the floor. I was able to hold my legs together and let her roll gently down them, then lowered my feet to the floor and bent down and picked her up. I put her up to my chest and she immediately began climbing up towards my face. Of course I immediately pictured a big chunk of my throat missing and blood spurting out, so I panicked and grabbed her and put her in her cage. I don't want to be scared of her, I want her to cuddle with me.

I have already bought new fabric softener because the orange scent probably was causing some of the biting. But tonights example? Am I holding her too long too early? What are some suggestions, should I only hold her for 10 minutes a couple of times a night instead of 30 minutes or longer?
 

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Maybe your little one isn't a snuggle bug but more exploritive my boy won't sit still at all he has nipped once or twice when I've tried to encourage cuddle time. However I let him wander I pet him and can pick him up without any problems he's just not fond of cuddles. Perhaps yours would prefer to explore and let you watch and you can pet and handle him while he explores.

My other thought is the sound and movement could've just startled the little guy he might've just been startled this time. Maybe if you need to clear your throat or cough or move try covering him so he might feel safe while you do it also if he's covered you're not exposed at that point in time.
 

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i agree with Rogue, she might just an exploritive hedgie, my little girl dosint realy like to cuddle eather, only after a bath or if i wake her up too early for her likeing :lol:
what i do with daisy is if she is in a playful mood i put her in her playpen, (wich is a empty kiddie pool), i just put her in there give her some toys and let her play, of coures i play with her and ill pick her up every few minutes and give her a kiss or somethng, but i hardly ever get to cuddle with her :|

heehee, one thing i can suggest if you want to cuddle with a hedgie is to go to the store and buy yourself a stuffed hedgie and cuddle with that :mrgreen: thats what i do :lol: then daisy always pushes it away like "my mommy back off" :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I don't necessarily try to cuddle with her, I just set her on my lap in her hedgie bag while I watch tv. The tv is so low I can barely hear it and I'm sitting in complete darkness and she huffs and pops and tries to dig through the bottom of the bag for about 10 minutes. Then she finally calms down and sit still for about 10 minutes and then I either make the mistake of breathing or twitching a finger which sets off her digging again, or if I manage to completely not move or make any noise for quite a while she will poke her head out and look around and (lately anyway) start the biting. There is no exploring or cuddling. :(

And I have a playpen for her with toys in it and when she's in it the only thing she ever does is find something to hide under and then just sulks the entire time. Yes, the temp is 73 - 74.
 

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My Pinny ( Pincushion) has also become a biter. We have only had him for three weeks. I used to breed ferrets and to teach them not to bite we would gently bop them on the nose when they did the deed.

Also, for some reason the only person's he bites is mommy and daddy. He doesn't bit strangers or his auntie Jenny whom he loves and adores.

My one thought is that, he is teething, or starting to quill. Also, it could be that your hedgie and mine is reacting to stress that you are having.

Recently there has been some strife in our house, and since then he has been huffy at mommy and daddy and no one else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Possible Update:
Bella hasn't bitten me in about 5 or 6 days. She has became a bit more active and I got her to eat a treat for the first time on Sunday night. There's less huffing and popping, less digging in her bag. Tonight I got her out of her cage and carried her bare-handed into the living room. I sat down and held her hedgie bag open and she crawled in, then turned around and crawled out and walked all up and down me for about 10 minutes just sniffing me and sitting on my shoulder, checking out the entire chair and crawling over everything. Of course she also used the bathroom all over me so I put her in her hedgie bag and went and cleaned myself up.

It was such a major breakthrough, I was so excited. When she was sitting on my shoulder and climbing near my neck I was nervous she was gonna bite me, but she didn't even do any licking. Just sniffing and exploring. I realize that she may be back to her old cranky ways tomorrow, but tonight really helped the "my hedgehog hates me" attitude.
 

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Congrats on the breakthrough. Being pooped and peed on by a hedgie is a compliment of sorts; they are saying they at least trust you that much. And a good rule is if your hedgie licks you a bite is sure to follow. This is a "it smells like food....with a lick tastes like food....so i gotta chomp it to be sure" So if your hedgie licks ya move her away quickly so you don't get bit. And hopefully she will learn that scent isn't really food at all.
 

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Hey guys - Herby is aggressive now, too. I woke him up in the day time, and he rolled into a ball and wouldn't come out. I had to put him in my palm and he crawled out a bit, but he's doing something entirely new--he biting. A LOT. He looks for soft parts of my hand and bites, and when I try to pet him from the head, back, he pops and his mouth opens like he wants to bite. If my fingers are near his face he bites. Not too hard, but hard enough. The other thing is that his quills are dropping a ton more. He was diagnosed with mites and treated with Revolution so we had him treated. I washed him today because his quills are dropping a ton more so I thought Aveeno would help. He's just being a ton more aggressive. Is it because I woke him up or is he mad at quilling or the mites?

He usually huffs when we initially pick him up out of his cage every day, but calms down. he also is usually able to chill in our hands and fall asleep or climb behind our backs and sleep on our necks, but today he was just aggressively popping and biting me and rolling into a ball.

I feel like I did something wrong!
 
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